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Old 1st Oct 2012, 16:27
  #61 (permalink)  
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How about putting all of the material on the web somewhere so we can see everything at first hand?
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 16:38
  #62 (permalink)  
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Its slightly different than that. People arent afraid perse, they understand the culture has definitely changed post HC and much good work has happened on the periphery. The problem is after 2 failed campaigns and overstretch for 10 years and no pay rise,people are losing the will to care. They are getting on with what we have got and looking for the light at the end of the tunnel they are digging for themselves through career progression.

People know there are plenty in the system to replace their positions if it all gets too much and people would still much prefer to fly with resource limitations than give that up for a desk, face potential FP cuts or get posted to the @rse end of the UK.

They also recognize that people who create problems rather than muddle on arent particularly well liked in the military, not in some cases without good reason. I think the Operations issues we face are distinct from the Engineering/PT/Procurement ones. The overarching issue we face is the MAA are too focussed on ensurance (over regulation) and not looking at the assurance (sp?) piece (improved/wider training, more trained personnel, more spares attaining higher standards, training for excellence rather than simply competence). Its easy to change the MRP, its difficult and expensive to increase manpower, improve training etc. Such is life.

Last edited by VinRouge; 1st Oct 2012 at 16:47.
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 18:28
  #63 (permalink)  
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The overarching issue we face is the MAA are too focussed on ensurance (over regulation) and not looking at the assurance (sp?) piece (improved/wider training, more trained personnel, more spares attaining higher standards, training for excellence rather than simply competence). Its easy to change the MRP, its difficult and expensive to increase manpower, improve training etc.

Vin Rouge. Agreed. I would say what you mention, above, is part and parcel of the same root problem. All are components of airworthiness.

In a paper submitted to the Defence Procurement Agency’s Deputy Chief Executive (3 Star, one David Gould) in January 2000, the process that is meant to provide these components was broken down and the status of each component analysed. If you read the report you’d think it an annex of the Nimrod Review of nearly 10 years later, explaining the headline criticisms and recommendations in the main body. It concluded that all but one of the required functions was no longer carried out. (Haddon-Cave omitted this bit).

It made six recommendations, of which 5 relate directly to airworthiness. #2 calls for specialist airworthiness posts to be resurrected (having been disbanded in 1993 by the Chief Engineer), noting dangerously fragmented IPTs. #6 calls for two procedural Def Stans to be mandated again, including the one that covers maintenance of Safety Cases and ensuring the components you seek are properly funded before approval is granted to proceed. (Called Requirement Scrutiny). Both had been mandated under our old Controller Aircraft, in his CA Instructions. When CDP and the CE decided to ditch these, without replacement, MoD staffs were taught no Def Stan was mandated; but not told what Standard should be used (which rendered another airworthiness Def Stan a buggers muddle). This led directly to a number of deaths, caused by staffs waiving Critical Design Reviews and regarding Safety as optional, to be ditched if it saved money. (Where Haddon-Cave got his catchphrase “savings at the expense of safety” from. You think he thought this up himself?) .

DPA DCE did not reply.

This report was an internal DPA response to the Public Accounts Committee report “Modifying Defence Equipment”, published the previous year. In March 1999, former specialist airworthiness staffs had been actively prevented from briefing our Chief of Defence Procurement before he appeared in front of the committee. Consequently, his evidence was a mixture of complete rubbish and embarrassing gaffes. However, this was also the day he admitted the primary failings noted in the 1992 CHART report remained extant, which probably didn’t endear him to a certain retired Chief Engineer. Of course, CDP didn’t mean to say this because that same year he upheld disciplinary action against his staffs for disobeying orders not to provide the very things you speak of.

Hope this explains the direct links between our mutual concerns.

Last edited by tucumseh; 1st Oct 2012 at 18:32.
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 19:56
  #64 (permalink)  
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I see in the latest RAeS magazine "The Aerospace Professional" that a Charles Haddon-Cave has just been elected as a FRAeS.
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 20:47
  #65 (permalink)  
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He is now a judge so cannot comment on anything.
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 21:50
  #66 (permalink)  
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...except as a witness in an inquest or a court of law.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 13:26
  #67 (permalink)  
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It seems ironic that the Chairman of the newly formed MAA Safety Advisory Committee, Air Marshal (Retired) Sir Colin Terry was Chief Engineer (RAF) from 1997 to 99 and must have been aware of all the airworthiness issues outlined in NART and CHART that lead up to the Nimrod and Chinook accidents. He was also aware of the requirement to install CWS in Tornado GR4s, as this was specified in the 1998 SDR. And, considering that CWS needs were first addressed in 1990, following the collision two Tornado GR1s and three fatalities, it has to be assumed that his predecessor Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Alcock was also in the picture on the CWS issue. In July of this year, two Tornado GR4’s, and most important of all, three lives were lost in a mid-collision over the Moray Firth.

In fact we know that in 1987, Air Marshal Terry, along with ASAC, tasked the Inspectorate of Flight Safety to carry out a review of the Nimrod fleet. The review was carried out by NART and their report circulated in September 1998. Both CE (RAF) and ACAS were listed on the distribution. Furthermore, it has to be assumed that the NART report was the subject of some discussion by Fixed Wing Airworthiness Management Group (FWAMG) and comments passed up the line to the Defence Aviation Safety Board, chaired by ASAC (Air Chief Marshal Stirrup). There is no mention in the Haddon-Cave report as to what action, if any, Air Marshal Terry and Air Chief Marshal Stirrup took in their respective capacities as CE (RAF)/Chairman of FWAMG, and ACAS/Chairman of the Defence Aviation Safety Board with regards to NART recommendations. Having read the QinetiQ report of March 2006 one can only conclude that very little was done.

So why was this not brought out by Haddon-Cave? I believe that it could be of some significance that when Air Marshal Terry retired from the RAF in 1999, he became actively involved with the Royal Aeronautical Society. In the period 2003 to 2007 he filled the posts of Council Member, President designate, President, and Past President. During the same four year period, Haddon-Cave was Chairman of the Air Law Group of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Under these circumstances it is possible that Haddon-Cave found it difficult to criticise a past President of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and someone with whom he had worked closely over a period of four years. Instead, he gave Air Marshal Terry a glowing report and then directed his criticism to those who followed. In praising Terry, Haddon-Cave implies that everything was fine in 1998/99.

So what has change since the H-C report and the formation of the MAA; very little if the Tornado case is anything to go by. In a 2010 provisional assessment of strategic risks to Air Safety, DG MAA reported;

"Mid-air Collision - a risk during both routine flying operations and on OP HERRICK. Incremental mitigation of this chronic risk, which has a high 'societal concern' factor, has suffered protracted delays over successive PRs since the 1998 SDR. A 'Delete Tornado Collision Warning System' Option is being run in PR11 which would prejudice the Dept's ability to declare this risk ALARP".(PR11 being MoD’s Planning Round for 2011 - the annual budget review)

However, in the DG MAA Annual Report, dated 10 Aug 11, he reported;

"The reprieve of the Delete Tornado CWS PR11 Option is welcome, but there is likely to be more that could be done"

But this "reprieve" is just a paper exercise to give the impression that CWS for Tornado is still under consideration, and therefore the risk can be regarded as ALARP. From experience gained with Nimrod, as long as it can be demonstrated that progress was being made towards ALARP MOD regards everything to be OK. The bottom line is that 15 years have passed since the 1998 SDR, and nothing has been done, or is being done. Worst of all, the same people seem to be running the show, with the same cavalier attitude towards airworthiness and air safety.


Last edited by Distant Voice; 2nd Oct 2012 at 16:40.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 16:41
  #68 (permalink)  
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Is anyone intending to go to the MAA conference later this month and ask some awkward, pointed questions in public?

Attendance is free for serving MoD personnel.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 17:18
  #69 (permalink)  
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Anyone is free to post on PPRuNe, and on the MoK thread it became clear to all that a retired VSO (3 Star) was acting as the mouthpiece for the others and continually fishing for strategy hints. He's now retreated, perhaps because he got found out and was identified as the 3 Star under whom the original policy that led to the rundown in airworthiness was developed!
He still lurks in the background on other PPRuNe forums, but has avoided the military aircrew forum ever since he inadvertently confirmed his identity.....

By the way, tuc, that's another B****ll beer you owe me....

Last edited by BEagle; 2nd Oct 2012 at 17:19.
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 18:15
  #70 (permalink)  
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#6 calls for two procedural Def Stans to be mandated again
Which ones were they?
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Old 2nd Oct 2012, 18:34
  #71 (permalink)  
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Def Stans 05-123 and 05-125/2. Anyone involved in practical airworthiness should know them back to front. Both were mandated on all aircraft and aircraft equipment contracts by Controller Aircraft. In the early 90s, the RAF Chief Engineer's organisation (AMSO) (see ACM Alcock, above) issued instructions that neither was to be implemented and the necessary funding was cut in successive years by 28%. This order wholly contradicted the legal obligation we were under, set out in letters of delegation.

As I said, this continued for many years and the principle of them no longer being mandated was continued by MoD(PE) and then DPA, and was taught to embryonic project managers. Proper PMs ignored these illegal orders and did their best, but sometimes there is little one can do when the might of the MoD disciplinary machine descends on you for refusing to render aircraft unsafe.

DV - Excellent post.
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Old 3rd Oct 2012, 07:25
  #72 (permalink)  
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If you want to follow this up, consider the Tornado ZG710/Patriot shootdown of March 2003 (2 killed). The recently released complete BoI report has Sir Brian Burridge stating that a properly integrated IFF system WOULD have prevented the crash (despite other contributory factors, this was the critical one).

Where are the (hitherto) mandated instructions on how to conduct systems integration and the Trials Installation (thus ensuring functional safety), which is a pre-requisite to the (hitherto) mandatory update of the Safety Case? Answer - Def Stan 05-125/2. (But not 05-123, which is a bit thin on such practical detail).

Then ask why MoD(PE)'s DGAS2 ruled in 1998 that implementing these (hitherto) mandated instructions was now optional. And that the contract could be paid off while making the false declaration that the regs HAD been implemented. And why CDP upheld this ruling, even though Boscombe had highlighted the friendly fire risk of ignoring this regulation.

In 1998 DGAS2 (later XD1 in DPA) was advised to order a fleet inspection of Tornado IFF failure warning designs. He refused. Similarly, XD5 in 2002. He walked away laughing.

Then ask if anything the MAA is doing would have prevented this behaviour. To put it crudely, would the MAA boss pin a 4 Star to the wall and tell him he was ****** insane to encourage staff to render aircraft functionally unsafe and vulnerable to friendly fire? I doubt it. Career suicide. But an independent MAA would have that authority without having to worry about his next promotion.

Last edited by tucumseh; 3rd Oct 2012 at 07:31.
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Old 4th Oct 2012, 17:41
  #73 (permalink)  
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Ref #67

In the Nimrod review report H-C stresses the point that the "R" in ALARP has a temporal element, and criticize the Coroner for calling for the grounding of the Nimrod, because in his (H-C's) opinion "a reasonable time is allowed" to mitigate identified risks. He makes constant reference to Lord Cullen's guidance in the Edwards v The National Coal Board in which Cullen states:

"'Resaonably practicable' is a narrow term than 'physically posible' and seems to imply that a computation must be made by the owner in which the quantum of risk is placed on one scale and the sacrifice involved in the measures necessary for averting the risk (whether in money, time OR trouble) is placed in the other, and that, if it is shown that there is gross disproportion between them - the risk being insignificant in relation to the sacrifice - the defendants discharge the onus on them"

Having read Lord Cullen's findings, and the Health and Safety guidelines, it is clear that "time" in this context means downtime (lost time) of the plant or equipment and its associated costs and trouble. It does not mean, as MoD and H-C claim that "we have got time to reduce a risk to ALARP". In the case of the current Tornado CWS issues "time" means the downtime of the aircraft and/or the trouble of not having them operational. It does not mean that MoD have an indefinte period of time in order to complete any modification programe (a programme that has been on going since 1998). The risk associated with Tornado mid-air collision it is not ARAP, and according to H-C there is no such thing as "tolerably safe but not ALARP".

To the new DG MAA I would say, in Lord Cullen's findings "time or trouble" are linked and viewed as a "sacrifice", or cost to be borne by a company or organisation in order to achieve ALARP. To view "time" in the manner in which H-C and MoD see it can only be seen as a let out, not a sacrifice. To believe that the Tornado mid-air collision risk can be regarded as ALARP simply because the item is back on the agenda after its deletion from PR11 is a major error in the MAA's curent way of thinking with regards to airworthiness.


Last edited by Distant Voice; 4th Oct 2012 at 17:48.
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Old 4th Oct 2012, 18:57
  #74 (permalink)  
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This precise point was discussed in evidence to Lord Philip, the example cited being the Chinook DECU connector problem, whereby they had to be checked every 15mins in fight. The specialist advice to Lord Philip was that this should not have been a Servicing Instruction, but a Class AA modification, requiring grounding until rectified.

The bottom line is the Committee whose job it was to assess all the factors you speak of, and make a decision as to priority “irrespective of cost, scrap or delay involved”, was disbanded by the RAF Chief Engineer in June 1993. Of course, the C-in-C can accept the risk if there is an operational imperative, but he must state this in writing and notify users. No such statement was made on Nimrod (or Chinook).

It is true that MoD is permitted a reasonable time to mitigate risks, but this refers to their legal liability and provides a defence to litigation. There are time limits laid down in formal guidance, but for the purposes of Nimrod all we have to know and understand is that the MoD(PE) 2 Star directed that Risk Management should, at most, consist of listing the risks; but under no circumstances was mitigation to be attempted. I have had many arguments with young direct entrants who have been taught this methodology, and who think RM is simply filling in the “risk” box in a piece of software. As a result of this policy, major programmes were not afforded Risk Manager posts and if anyone tried to establish a Risk Committee their colleagues were instructed not to attend. (I fully accept parts of the MoD controlled by sane senior ranks completely ignored this and did the job properly. But there comes a time when you have no money to mitigate).

He went further. His primary role as the 2 Star was “Management oversight”, requiring him to assess the top 10 risks on every programmes, every month. In the 6 or so years he was my 2 Star, not once did he assess any risks on any of my programmes. I approached him about serious risks, for example, the above friendly fire one – well, you know his reaction. Director General Air System 2 (DGAS2). Or, Didn’t Give A Shit.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 12:41
  #75 (permalink)  
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Not being a Brit I may have this wrong but based on my reading DEF STAN are simply standards on which to base procedures or a contract and are not mandated by anything other than policy.

It seems some malcontents on this thread are treating superseded policy as 'mandatory' to suit their argument.

However, what certain contributors here have failed to recognize is that the MAA has actually put 05-123 into their regulatory set as regulations in the 5xxx sequence.

Of course perhaps the paranoid will dismiss that because they see the entire RAF leadership as a secret mafia that meets in the bowels of the Royal Aerospace Society to plot new ways to sacrifice service personnel as part of their ongoing vendetta against the self appointed consciences of military aviation!

This explains the transfer:

It is perhaps significant that the critics of the British MOD do not actually cite actual clauses in the DEF STAN that are not complied with (and in fact only even refer the DEF STAN by number when pressed) but just make vague references to actions this disagree with being in contravention.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 14:14
  #76 (permalink)  
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The point I made is that Controller Aircraft issued Instructions which his staffs were bound by. They stated that both 123 and 125 MUST be invoked in aircraft/equipment contracts. They are procedural Def Stans and there are no alternatives, unlike most other Def Stans which do have alternatives, such as BS, Mil Specs etc. This legal obligation was articulated in formal letters of delegation.

This was overruled by another regime (notably, by people who didn't actually have to put their name to anything), who declined to say what Standards should be used in their place (given there is a formal hierarchy of Standards, and everyone would agree some form of standard is required).

That 05-123 is in the MAA's document set is fine; it is only to be expected. But what of 05-125/2, which is the only Standard that laid down procedures to ensure a vast array of airworthiness components were satisfied, including the Safety Case?

The sole purpose of 125 is to lay down procedures for "Maintaining the Build Standard", so that the Safety Case can remain valid (as the Safety Case is developed against a stated and maintained Build Standard). I can state with absolute certainty that 99.9% of problems I encountered, in 131 Air, Land and Sea projects/programmes I managed, were solved by reference to 125. Implementing 125 from the outset is the primary means of avoiding the vast majority of problems that cause delays, overspend and inadequate kit,. That cannot be said of any other MoD document.

Your criticism of people whose interest is aviation safety is puzzling, and exactly what we have come to expect of those who have railed against airworthiness for so many years.

Also, you are wrong to say actual clauses have not been cited; this was precisely what happened on Nimrod and C130 when evidence was presented to the respective Coroners. Remember the MoD's reply at the Nimrod inquest? JSP553 and Def Stan 00-970 were "irrelevant". I'm quite happy to cite specific clauses if you wish, but I think your comments would be better directed at MoD, just in case they still think the entire Airworthiness Regulations "irrelevant".

Finally, if you don't like someone saying the regulations should be implemented, then please specify which ones should not be. I'm sure that would make the MAA's job a bit easier if they agreed with you; although I'm not sure aircrew would agree.
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Old 5th Oct 2012, 20:37
  #77 (permalink)  
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sox6, interesting that MOD apologists are now being garnered in from outside of the UK. Are we to suppose that they are now completely devoid of UK "contents"?
Speaking as one of the "malcontents" to which you refer, I would deny being in a state of paranoia, when the case against the MOD as UK Military Airworthiness Authority (now vested in its MAA subsidiary) has been established in Coroners Courts, as tucumseh says.
Chickens are coming home to roost and the MOD and its subsidiaries are looking to be increasingly beleaguered. One can but admire your seemingly detached benevolence in speaking out on their behalf. Perhaps you do so though from a position of being blessed with a military with airworthy aircraft and unhindered accident investigations?
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Old 7th Oct 2012, 20:32
  #78 (permalink)  
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It was mandated by the Def Stans that the Hercules fuel system was to be protected against a table of threats (including small arms fire). The options open to IPTL and DA were to fit ESF or Inerting Gas. It had neither and so, by definition, the Herc (all marks) was not airworthy in this respect. The MoD did not contend this assertion in court.

This situation remained extant until all ac were eventually made safer by the fitting of ESF post the loss of XV179 - many years after it should have been done and too late for some of my friends. Also, it is arguable that the MoD did not meet their obligations because they realised that the ac was unsafe and did not meet the regulations but beacause they had to be pushed into action by public pressure.
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Old 7th Oct 2012, 20:49
  #79 (permalink)  
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I know of at least one britmil frontline ac that was bought with TCAS, but has since had it disabled due to cost of upkeep. The number one risk of the command to which that ac belongs is mid air collision. I would (if I could attend), like to ask the MAA how this can be allowed to occur. Especially when other slightly less frontline ac such as tutor have TCAS fitted, supported and working......
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Old 7th Oct 2012, 20:50
  #80 (permalink)  
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Flipster, the trouble is that the DefStan did not mandate it or require it by regulation.
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